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tl;dr Seven ways to write compelling content people want to read.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

How to Write Content

People Will Read by Helen Fang

T

Helen Fang

4. Invest in your content. When hiring writers, the impulse is to go with the cheaper end of the spectrum. Fight this urge as you’ll waste time and

here’s no shortage of inaccurate or boring content

effort on a result that will either require a lot of edits or isn’t us-

on the web. With so much of it, how do you stand

able. Content is a marketing vehicle that needs an appropriate

out? In this article, I will show how to write compel-

budget for it. Would you buy traffic at $.01 per click? Maybe.

ling content people want to read.

But it probably won’t be very high quality.

1. Understand your audience.

5. Network your way to excellent content.

The topics that you would like to write about may be in-

While the notion of “guest blogging” is overused, leverag-

teresting to you, but it matters less than understanding the

ing someone else’s knowledge through interviews is interest-

topics your audience is interested in. Free web tools, such

ing and gives your content another voice. Craft questions you

as Google Analytics and SurveyMonkey, can help you under-

think your audience would want to know. Ask an expert out to

stand audience behavior and interests.

share their expertise surrounding a topic. It’s much easier to get a conversation out of someone than a 500-word article.

2. Speak the same language. There are 20+ ways to talk about saving money on shop-

6. If you write it, they probably won’t

ping. I know, I’ve tried them all. Once you know your audience

come. So, please, show your content

and the topics they are interested in, learn how to write for

some love and tell the world about it.

them. From tone to voice, structure, length, images, and de-

If you’re proud of the content you’ve created, then put

sign impacts everything. Knowing how to speak to your audi-

some money behind marketing it. SEO alone won’t get you

ence means that you can find new angles that will resonate.

there. The good news is that you’ve identified your audience and now know where to find them online. Facebook and

3. Incorporate trends into your

Twitter are obvious platforms, but where else does your au-

content—when relevant.

dience live?

Did you participate in the #thedress optical illusion debate? Hashtag-based trending news provides an opportunity

7. Reuse, recycle and repurpose.

for content creators of all sizes to reach a captive audience.

You don’t need to create amazing content from scratch. If

Brands of all types participated in the conversation, not just

you have older content that was very successful for you, find

fashion or e-commerce. However, if it feels cheesy or con-

ways to revisit it every year, or repackage and update the infor-

trived, it probably is better to skip than to create content that

mation. If you have a great series of blog posts, put it together

isn’t staying true to your brand and identity.

in an e-book and offer it as an incentive for new subscribers.

Helen manages the e-commerce business at Coupons.com, and recently launched its magazine, The Good Stuff.

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Profile for Affiliate Summit

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